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Total Studio: Collaborative Design For Engineering And Architecture

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1999 Annual Conference


Charlotte, North Carolina

Publication Date

June 20, 1999

Start Date

June 20, 1999

End Date

June 23, 1999



Page Count


Page Numbers

4.556.1 - 4.556.8

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Barry Jackson

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1526

Total Studio: Collaborative Design for Engineering and Architecture

Barry Jackson New Jersey Institute of Technology

Abstract This paper describes an interdisciplinary design studio that utilizes concepts and methodologies intended to create a comprehensive approach to the organization of building design through the merger of several techniques. These techniques include 1) collaborative learning and design, 2) interdisciplinary team teaching, and 3) hypertext courseware and learning modules utilizing multi-tasking workstations. The studio merges the preceding teaching paradigms, building on current research and the experience of the faculty. The studio establishes the premise that archi- tectural design studio and engineering laboratories (structural and mechanical) need to be or- ganized across departmental boundaries as team oriented activities. The learning modules are being developed initially in a multimedia format (analog video and hypertext). They will be finalized in an entirely hypertext format using digital video and browsers, allowing latitude for the development of additional material in the future. The paper discusses the continual shift between synthetic and analytic processes in the context of problem solving, methods of repre- sentation, design assignments, methods and process.

The Problem Architects and engineers, who need to interact during their professional career in order to build any kind of complex building, are educated entirely separately. “Over the past century, increased movement toward concentration within an academic discipline has taken charge of the curricu- lum, as well as serving to compartmentalize the professoriate and the institution.” 1 The vertical separation of disciplines occurs in most universities. This suggests a need for modification of the curriculum, the delivery of course material and teaching methods. Fortunately, this comes during a period of reflection in schools of architecture when, as Mitgang suggests, there are “growing doubts over whether the traditional educational environment is preparing students for a rapidly changing world outside.” While “schools remain wedded to shopworn traditions” there seems to be a growing malaise about the role of design as the centerpiece of architectural education.2 Recognition of the problem also comes at a time when new teaching methods are emerging. The major effort in trying to refine elements in the curriculum (particularly in different depart- ments) depends upon what might be termed “changing the culture” of the curriculum. To create these changes architectural design studio and engineering laboratories need to be organized comprehensively, across departmental boundaries. In the course of these revisions they will also need to be changed from independently organized activities to team oriented activities.

Jackson, B. (1999, June), Total Studio: Collaborative Design For Engineering And Architecture Paper presented at 1999 Annual Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina.

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